Homemade Bourbon Vanilla Extract

Making your own Bourbon Vanilla Extract is incredibly simple and cost-effective. It’s perfect for holiday gifting and can be used in any number of recipes!

Let’s get started!

In a nutshell, vanilla extract is made by soaking vanilla beans in ethanol (i.e. alcohol). Over time, the fragrant vanilla flavor is extracted from the vanilla beans as they sit in the alcohol — hence the name vanilla extract.


1. Slice vanilla beans in half lengthwise to expose seeds. For smaller bottles, cut beans in half crosswise for full immersion in bourbon.


2. Place the vanilla beans into the glass bottle. Pour bourbon into the bottle using a funnel, ensuring the vanilla beans are fully submerged.


3. Seal the bottle and store in a cool, dry place for at least 8 weeks before using. I recommend gently shaking the bottle once a week to aid the brewing process.

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